Work on last lap at new Kochi Metro stations

Specific themes await commuters; Vadakkekotta set to be largest station in Phase 1 project; large commercial spaces also coming up at stations.
Vadakkekotta and SN Junction metro stations receiving finishing touches pics | T P Sooraj
Vadakkekotta and SN Junction metro stations receiving finishing touches pics | T P Sooraj

KOCHI: Polishing the floors, painting the walls, setting up elevators and completing electrical work... the Vadakkekotta and the SN Junction stations have been beehives of activity over the past few days to pave the way for the services to begin on the newest stretch of the Kochi Metro. Decorated on specific themes, the two stations are gearing up to welcome commuters.

Unlike other stations, large commercial spaces have been created both inside and outside the new facilities. “Earlier, we were converting the space at stations for commercial purposes but here we have specially-built areas for commercial use,” an architect with Kochi Metro said. But like other stations, the new ones too have specific themes. While Vadakkekotta depicts Kerala’s role in freedom struggle, SN Junction features Ayurveda and its modern approaches.

The station aims to familiarise people with Ayurveda’s dinacharyas, doshas -- vata, pitta and kapha -- and Ayurgenomics (an approach to get a molecular explanation of the tridosha concept by studying individuals who have predominance of the doshas). With a splash of colours and graphics, the walls are lit up with lessons in Ayurveda in every nook and corner.

The concept of ayurveda was developed by Kochi Metro with research and assistance from the Government Ayurveda College, Tripunithura. At Vadakkekotta, the station walls are being enlivened with the images of Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to various places in Kochi and his public interactions.“Vadakkekotta is now the largest metro station of the Phase 1 project. Both stations have been built on transit-oriented development (TOD). In urban planning, this approach is taken to maximise the amount of residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transport facilities. Be it eateries, shopping outlets or electronic shops, the idea is to improve accessibility and convenience,” said the architect.

The Vadakkekotta station has a total area of 4.3 lakh square feet and the SN Junction around 1 lakh square feet. An area of around 70 cents behind the station has been exclusively designated as commercial spaces, which could be developed -- on a PPP basis -- for office towers, automobile showrooms and theatre complexes as well. Parking facility for up to 150 cars has also been set up. The Kochi Metro has hopes from the rail network’s extension to SN Junction.

According to an official, the opening of the new stretch is expected to provide a daily ridership of 1 lakh.And commuters to the city centre are happy too. “We are excited with the Metro getting extended till Tripunithura. It will now become convenient for us to reach the city. I study at Maharaja’s College. So this is a bonus,” said Jobin James, a second year BA Literature student.

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